So some days I need to just think for a little while. Normally, I keep it to myself because it’s incoherent drivel, but a lot of times, I’ll find myself going back and rethinking the same topic without any real progress made. That’s mostly because I have no record of the last time I thought about it. Make sense? Didn’t think so.
Anyway, I’m literally writing this as a stream of consciousness (no editing, no nothing) so good luck actually reading it. If you’re interested in some of my thoughts on God and Creativity, read on. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it though.
So I want to start with this verse…
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Can one say about anything, “Look, this is new”? It has already existed in the ages before us.
and this definition…
1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
2. to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
The tension between these two things has always been pretty apparent to me. I fully believe the Bible, and yet, I still have this incredible yearning to create something new. Then, for me, I’ve got this other part of my head that analyzes everything and says, “Hold on, there’s an inherent problem if you want to do something you don’t believe can be done.” Things don’t really add up without something more.
I’ll start at the beginning. God is the creator. For me, there’s no question about that. I think it takes just as much faith to believe that all this came from nothing as it does to believe in a divine creator, but that’s a whole different issue. So, for this, God is the creator.
God created me. He created me with a purpose and with desires. One of the purposes He gave me is to glorify him. One of the desires he gave me is to create something new.
I believe that when I create, God is working through me to reveal something that I didn’t see before. I don’t necessarily believe that I’m making anything new, just that I’m seeing something new.
I watched an interview last week with JT from Paper Route and in it, he said something along the lines of…
I guess I love to write/create because maybe, that’s the only time I truly believe in God.
I think there’s something to that. It’s hard for me to even imagine really, truly believing in God without seeing a lot of the creative things that I have. There are times when a song lyric or melody reaffirms my belief in God. There are times when I see a painting or a piece of architecture, and I think God had to have something to do with that.
Ben Sollee has a song that I’ve always found interesting, and I’ve never really known why. He meets God and has a conversation with him. It ends with this…
I saw God on the mountain
Tearing at the sky
I saw God on the mountain
With tears in his eyes
He said; ‘Son,
I used to know where I put things,
I used to know
I could have shown you all the beauty in the world
but now I need you to show me
Yes, show me’
I don’t think God has forgotten where He put the beauty He created. I do think he’s waiting on us to show it to him though. Every day, I see something new and beautiful. A lot of times, I see it in things that I’ve seen a million times before.
I think God has created a lot more than we see, but He’s waiting on us to reveal it to each other.
At one point in my life, I looked at creativity as thing that I could compete at. I could be more creative than another guy and he could be more creative than me, but now I realize creativity is about collaboration.
It’s about a musician and a painter and a gardener and a builder doing what they can to reveal God to each other and to the world.
That’s how I reconcile the fact that nothing’s new with the definition of creation. For me, I think it should become much less about my creation and more about His revelation.